Twenty two-year-old singer, songwriter, actor and dancer, Rilan is a study in contradiction. The independent artist, who first appeared on the scene with his 2015 EP Chemicals, is a charismatic looker who describes himself as a “freak” and a “weirdo.” Because he dressed like an emo kid and wore makeup to his preppy high school in New Orleans, his classmates assumed he was a troublemaker, when he was actually a straight-A student who never broke the rules. He’s a former musical theater kid who loves ’70s glam rock and ’80s synth-pop. He’s chatty and warm in person but insists he has no social life and few friends. “I don’t connect with people easily,” he says. “I like to sit back and observe, and report on how I’m feeling through my music.”
In Rilan’s music, dark, sad emotions are dressed up in glossy dance-pop packages, like the house-influenced single “Blindfolds,” featuring Naz Tokio, which is about being rejected by someone you love and not being able to let go. His latest single, “MoneyTalk” is a deeper look at how Rilan views the effects of social media’s impact on individuals and their self-esteem along with the important decisions they make with regards to their own bodies. “Hollywood has a twisted view of what it means to be pretty, and social media promotes its perversion of beauty. Just because you have the money to change your appearance doesn’t mean you need to do so to be attractive, and I think it’s time to remind people of the truth — you’re prettier being yourself than looking like everyone else on the Internet.”
Rilan’s unique ability to envision and execute a song’s presentation beyond just the audio to create an entire experience through music videos and live performances truly set him apart from other artists. With a lead role in not only the songwriting, but the concept, costumes, and choreography of everything he releases, he has already been compared to some of the greatest performers in musical history. Presenting his larger than life persona, in just the few years since he relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans, Rilan has amassed over 8 million YouTube views, charted on the Billboard Dance charts with his single, “Blindfolds” and has performed at some of the most coveted clubs and festivals from LA to London, most recently being invited to perform on the runway during Style Fashion Week LA and also NYC. His songs have been remixed by DJ’s and electronic musicians and in turn have been played at clubs throughout the world. Rilan’s history with dance and acting landed him the coveted role as a Warbler in multiple episodes of the 2015 final season of Fox’s hit show Glee.
With “MoneyTalk” leading the way of a few brand new singles to be released, Rilan will most certainly deliver on the media praise that he is a top Artist to Watch.